Tuesday, August 5, 2014

An Editor's Gotta Eat! My Original Recipe Pizza Salad

Confession: I love pizza, love all varieties of it with a great big “heart.” And I like to watch “Chopped” on the Food Network. And as you know, if you’ve seen this blog post from last year, Using Leftovers: My Original Recipe for Bloomin’ Onion Soup, the leftovers episodes from “Chopped” resonated with me, encouraging me to look for ways to transform leftovers into something new and appetizing. After all, an editor’s got to eat, right?

Today’s experiment, Pizza Salad, was a success! I’m going to share the steps with you so that you and your family can enjoy this dish too. (Photos follow.)

First, you take your leftover pizza out of the fridge. We had thin crust cheese pizza. We turned the pizza into croutons!

Preheat your oven to 300°F.

If you have a pizza cutter, you can quickly cut the leftover slices into small squares or diamonds. Otherwise, a knife will do.

Spread the pizza croutons out on parchment paper and slide into the oven to bake for 30 minutes. If your leftover pizza has a thick crust, you may want to add baking time, perhaps for a total of 45 minutes.

When time is up, remove croutons from the oven. While they cool, start preparing your salad. For our salad, I used iceberg lettuce, homegrown tomatoes, turkey pepperoni, shredded colby jack cheese, and Wishbone western sweet & smooth dressing. You can determine how much of each ingredient to use or whether you want to change the ingredients to suit your personal pizza preferences. (Balsamic vinaigrette may be another good dressing choice, but I didn’t have any on hand.)

This is a fun and easy way to use your leftovers and stretch your food budget. “Ciao” down!

1. Leftover Pizza

2. Start slicing pizza with pizza cutter or knife

3. Cut into crouton-sized square or diamond shapes

4. Bake in preheated 300° oven for 30+ minutes, depending on thickness of pizza

5. While croutons cool, assemble your pizza salad with your favorite lettuce and pizza toppings

6. I used iceberg lettuce, small homegrown tomato slices, turkey pepperoni, shredded colby jack cheese, and Wishbone western sweet & smooth dressing. The pizza croutons were the final touch!

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